Do you have any interest in getting more men to respond to your fundraising appeals? Or perhaps to your cause marketing efforts?
If you answered yes, then you may want to read an article I found in Neuromarketing (link at end of post). I found it interesting and perhaps you will too.
Research from the University of New Mexico suggests that “… altruism is a form of conspicuous consumption designed to enhance the reputation.”
In other words, people give for the recognition.
The researchers also state that spendthrift behavior and charitable actions may be different forms of the same behavior.
How did they test these hypotheses? Subjects of both men and women were divided into two groups. One group was primed with romantic ideas by writing about their ideal date. The other group wrote about the weather. Then members of each group received $5000 in play money to spend, and also asked to allocate 60 hours of leisure time.
Here are the results:
“In the romantically primed group, the men went wild with the Monopoly money. Conversely, the women volunteered their lives away. Those women continued, however, to be skinflints, and the men remained callously indifferent to those less fortunate than themselves.
Meanwhile, in the other group there was little inclination either to reckless/extravagant spending or to good works.
Based on this result, it looks as though the sexes do, indeed, have different strategies for showing off. Moreover, they do not waste their resources by behaving like that all the time. Only when it counts sexually are men profligate and women helpful.”
How does this relate to your nonprofit appeals?
If you want donations from men, give them some visibility. “Public recognition is particularly important among those who, even unconsciously, are seeking to boost their attractiveness.”
In contrast, when primed romantically women are more likely to spend their time conspicuously as opposed to money.
Please take all this with a grain of salt. It’s crazy to say ALL men and ALL women will ALWAYS behave this way. Remember, the behaviors were most obvious when test subjects were first primed romantically. And like the author of the article, I too would be interested to see how the behavior changes among different age groups.
One more thing. Please don’t misunderstand me. I do NOT expect nor encourage you to have “sex” in your nonprofit letters and emails. I merely thought it was interesting research worth passing on. Yet who knows? There may be tasteful, respectful, and appropriate ways you can romantically prime men to donate more and women to volunteer more.
Why do people give to your charity? – more research
Neuromarketing article on Univ. of New Mexico research